A portion of Route 66 that runs through the Mojave Desert just east of Amboy, California, will be closed through mid-September because of bridge construction.
San Bernardino County published a news release Monday in the Desert Dispatch newspaper, based in Barstow, California:
San Bernardino County Public Works will be constructing two new bridges and road improvements on National Trails Highway (Route 66) at Dola Ditch (2.08 miles east of Kelbaker Road) and Lanzit Ditch (2.77 miles east of Kelbaker Road), east of the community of Amboy. The construction will include removing the existing timber bridges and constructing new timber bridges.
A portion of National Trails Highway will be closed at all times to through traffic, including emergency vehicles. Traffic will be routed around the construction on public streets and highways. The detour plan includes using Interstate 40 and Kelbaker Road.
Local residents and businesses will have access from Essex Road west to the construction site, but there will be no traffic through the construction site. Construction of the project is tentatively scheduled to start on Monday and run through mid-September.
So if you’re a westbound traveler who wants to check out Cadiz Summit, you still can get there. But you’ll have to backtrack miles onto Interstate 40 to Kelbaker Road to get to Amboy.
The release noted the replacement of two bridges is part of a long-term plan to replace 127 bridges along the Route 66 corridor in the Mojave Desert. Many of the bridges are 80 to 90 years old and are deemed functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.
More about San Bernardino County’s bridge projects along Route 66 in the Mojave Desert may be found here.
San Bernardino County maintains a road-closure map here. On Wednesday, it didn’t show the road closing mentioned in the news release, but assume the road is closed regardless.
This is the second extended closure of Route 66 in the Mojave in recent years. Flash flooding in September 2014 damaged dozens of bridges and the roadway itself, forcing San Bernardino to close Route 66 for months. It took six months for the county to reopen just the 28-mile part of the road from Ludlow to Amboy.
To this day, a part of National Trails Highway from Exit 115 of I-40 to just east of Essex remains closed because of the damage. Most Route 66 travelers, however, go to Essex through Goffs Road and the roadside town of Fenner.
(Image of a “Road Closed” sign by huskyboy via Flickr)